Team chemistry is one of those things that’s always been difficult to quantify, but in the Information Age, analytics gurus are leaving no stone unturned. So starting this season, the Phoenix Suns will keep track of the number of high-fives their players give one another during the course of a given game. Via NBA.com:
“We have a high-five stat,” Head Coach Earl Watson said following the 91-86 victory [over the Spurs on Monday]. “I’m being honest with you. This is true. So we want to keep track of how many high-fives we get per game to each other.”
A couple of seasons ago, a psychology professor spent eight months examining one game each for all 30 NBA teams and tracking precisely that. You can hear more about his findings in the video below.
NBA coaches and players have always known intuitively that camaraderie and team chemistry are crucial to success, but now there appears to be some science to support that idea. There were no specifics, however, on exactly what their methodology will be or whether there is an ideal threshold of high-fives per game they’d like to meet, but with the trend toward all sorts of new metrics, it probably won’t be long before it catches on league-wide.